FOOD FOR GOOD: Obesity and nutrition

Hult Prize, also known as “Noble Prize for Students” provides an opportunity to students to think through the solutions for biggest issues in the global environment such as those on which the 17 Sustainable Development Goals are based. Being a part of the organizing committee of the Hult Prize at Indian Institute of Management, Jammu, I got the opportunity to think about something that most of us usually take for granted – Food. For the 2021 Challenge the theme is ‘Food for Good’. 

Food is the only entity which not only aids our survival but also determines the quality of that survival. You might argue that so does money; but money cannot buy your health, if it could then millionaires would have been immortal. The food you consume is the root cause of your immunity, your stamina and endurance levels Hence we should be taken a Balanced diet at all the stages of our live which keeps us healthy, proactive and keeps us going.

“A balanced diet provides all the nutrients a person requires, without going over the recommended daily calorie intake. By eating a balanced diet, people can get the nutrients and calories they need and avoid eating junk food, or food without nutritional value.”

And the inadequacy of proper food intake, is therefore the main cause behind the most popular degenerative diseases like cancer, cardiac arrest or even obesity. The food you consume speaks as the representative of your health, a balanced diet when combined with a disciplined lifestyle and optimum physical activity can make you go miles without thinking about the minutes. The modern lifestyle and pop culture have forced our nutritionally aware Indian community to adopt western cultures like eating outside our homes and following several FAD diets just to be in shape. The native Indian diet has all the elements which would quest the thirst of any fitness enthusiast, be it the antiseptic turmeric or anti-inflammatory ginger-garlic or our favorite cardamom and saffron which have anti-carcinogenic properties. People often mistake good health for body composition, but the reality is different people have different metabolisms and different responses to carbohydrate and fat intake which is sometimes determined by their genetic history. If a person is overweight, that does not necessarily mean that he\she is unfit. Unless and until you mistreat your body and ignore it is calling then there are lesser chances of you getting a disease. Nutrition has been recognized as not only the supplement to the recovery of a patient (of any disease) but also one of his primary requirements to get back to his regular form and perform his daily tasks with the same zeal and integrity. Foods important for maintaining our overall health-

  • Complex carbohydrates- Red meat are the best sources of carbs. Other than this potatoes, mild, beans and bread are good sources of carbs. 
  • Proteins of high biological value- White meat is the best source of protein along with pulses, eggs, yoghurt are also good sources and easily available. A protein-rich diet helps the body muscles grow and form good shape and posture of the body
  • Fruits and vegetables- “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” A good source of roughage, glucose, vitamins such as A, B, C, D and E are obtained from fruits. Fruits should be taken in good quantity in and after every meal as they help in proper digestion of food as well.
  • Antioxidant containing foods- Antioxidants are not known by many, however they play a very important role in keeping our bodies healthy and fit. Antioxidants protect our cells from free radicals which can be a cause of some severe diseases like cancer. When the body breaks down food, free radicals can be formed if the body is exposed to prolonged smoking or alcohol. Food acting as free antioxidants are Dark Chocolate, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries etc.
  • Nuts and oilseeds- Nuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, wall-nuts, oilseeds sunflower wax, hazelnut when taking in appropriate quantities help in the formation of a healthy and proactive body. They also help in improving the blood circulations and give warmth to the body.
  • Dairy products- Milk, Curd, Cheese, Cottage cheese are rich in protein and fibres and help in the growth and development of the bones and muscles of the body. A balanced diet should include fresh and pure dairy products beneficial for our health.
  • Roughage – One of the most important material in our meals should be roughage. Obtained from fruits and vegetables mainly roughage mainly helps in proper churning and digestion of food in the stomach and intestines. It is essential for the proper digestion of the food.
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Having healthy food is not just absolute but it is must as cases of malnourished children are increasing day by day. We must have out of box thinking when it comes to food coz Indian food is way obese. Various agricultural economist has suggested to include seafood like spirulina in our diet as seafood cover all kind of necessary vitamins and nutrients. The food section is so important for the wellbeing of human that Indian government have taken various initiative such as 100% FDI (Foreign direct investment) in the food processing sector. So, its high time to realize the importance of having a balanced diet. As in India food is a beautiful way of honouring the life and meditate when it comes to quality food every section of our society has its own recipe, spice and cooking technique.

Author: Zuhaib

Zuhaib is an enthusiastic and creative person. He is a smart worker and thrives on challenges while constantly setting goals for himself and works hard for them. He is not comfortable in settling and constantly looks for opportunities to do better and achieve greatness. He is a good decision maker and his decisions are backed by a lot of research work regarding the same. He aims to learn in all circumstances to get better version of himself. He is modest, humble and growth oriented and seeks to work for a company that has strong leaderships and visions which recognizes and rewards its performers

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